The previous article looked at revising and writing your resume. Now we’ll address creating your accomplishment list.
For those who are unfamiliar with an accomplishment list, it’s a number of outstanding achievements you’ve accumulated over the course of your career—but not to exceed 10 to 15 years of work history. Your list should be broken down into positions/titles, or you may compile a list of accomplishments that reflect one occupation, providing you’ve been in the same line of work and industry.
If you’re wondering why an accomplishment list will help you with your job search, here are five reasons.
Build your self-esteem. Writing your accomplishment list is an excellent exercise that will help you remember the positives in your life. You’ll get a sense of pride from doing it, and your list will come in handy. Many of your accomplishment statements will come from your resume, but try to think of other outstanding accomplishments you’ve had, including those you’ve achieved through volunteerism.
Networking meetings. Most believe they should bring a resume to a networking meeting, but an accomplishment list could be more useful, given that a generic resume will not impress the interviewer. Let’s say the person with whom you’re speaking mentions that the many of the company employees expressed dissatisfaction in their responsibilities.
On your accomplishment list is: “Reduced turnover by 50% and increased employee satisfaction by implementing a program that facilitated cross-training in various departments.”
Networking. Bringing your accomplishment list to networking events for jobseekers will serve you well. You won’t cite all your accomplishments when you’re standing at the front of the room during a “needs and leads” session but telling the group about your best accomplishment will leave a lasting impression in their minds.
“At Acme Company I volunteered to lead computer training for people who were struggling with SAP. My patient, yet thorough, style of training enabled all the trainees to understand the program in a week’s time, thus increasing their production.”
Interviews. Why not make your accomplishment list part of your portfolio? Chances are you’ve included the necessary job-related accomplishments on your resume—and you’ve explained them during the meeting—but there may be other accomplishments that could contribute to your candidacy. Your list might be the tie-breaker.
Telephone interviews are also a great time to share your accomplishments. Because the interviewer can’t see you, your list will be by your side where you can see it. The interviewer asks if there’s anything you’d like to add.
You say, “I would be remiss in not mentioning that I excel in writing. In fact, when technical document was needed, sales would often come to me for easy-to-understand documentation on our products.”
When you’re employed. Often we overlook accomplishments we’ve had at work. The best time to compile your accomplishment list is when you’re working and the accomplishments are fresh in your mind. Every time you do something outstanding, write it down. Better yet, add it to your resume.
Next we’ll look at contacting your network and developing new contacts.
Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer who leads more than 20 workshops on the career search. Jobseekers and staff look to him for advice on the job search. He has gained a reputation as the LinkedIn expert in and outside the career center. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Visit his blog at Things Career Related.